Tech Bytes
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News

Tech Bytes: News from Zillow, TrustFunds, Planitar, Revive 

Zillow launches BuyAbility tool; Bright MLS teaming up with TrustFunds; Planitar adds interactive Lead Magnet to 3D tours; Revive shows value of renovation.

May 17, 2024
5 minutes

Editor's note: Technology is a driving force in real estate. From startups to established players, tech companies are constantly innovating, growing and forging partnerships. Here we highlight some of the latest news about the companies that help power the industry. 

Zillow's new tool to helps buyers see what they can afford

Zillow this week launched a new tool called BuyAbility, which is designed to help would-be homebuyers understand how much house they can afford.

Buyers who enter a few pieces of information – income, credit score, the monthly amount they feel comfortable spending on a house payment – get a quick estimate of the home price that fits their budget.

It will also let them know the odds of them getting approved for the mortgage they want, and update in real time as rates change. 

"What many people don't realize is that your mortgage rate is highly dependent on your credit score," said Orphe Divounguy, senior economist at Zillow Home Loans. "The better your credit score, the lower the rate you'll qualify for, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars a month. BuyAbility is personalized to a buyer's credit score, income and down payment, and updated regularly to reflect current mortgage rates, giving home shoppers a true understanding of their buying power."

BuyAbility is powered by Zillow Home Loans, and can be found on the Home Loans tab of the Zillow app. It's "a great starting point for buyers who may be hesitant to look under the hood of their finances, or share personal details with a loan officer," Divounguy said.

Bright MLS to add TrustFunds earnest money services

Bright MLS this week announced that it is teaming up with TrustFunds to integrate electronic earnest money services into its platform, a move designed to simplify a process that can be complex and time-consuming.

TrustFunds will keep agents informed with real-time updates on transactions, meeting demand for streamlined and secure processes. 

"By seamlessly integrating TrustFunds electronic earnest money services into the Bright MLS platform, we are collectively raising the standard for transaction processes, benefiting agents, brokers, and clients alike," said Bright MLS CMO Amit Kulkarni.

Planitar adds Lead Magnet functionality to its virtual tours

A new feature added to Planitar's virtual touring experience will allow agents to capture leads and get feedback in real time from prospective buyers.

The addition, called the iGUIDE Lead Magnet, is an interactive pop-up element that allows home shoppers who are using the iGUIDE viewer to get additional information by sharing their contact info with the listing agent.

Alexander Likholyot, Planitar's CEO and co-founder, says Lead Magnet "is about forging relationships in real estate." It allows listing agents to engage with qualified, interested buyers and get their feedback on a property within a 3D virtual tour.

Revive's new Neighborhood Report shows value of renovation

Pre-sale renovation company Revive has launched a new tool to help real estate agents – and their clients – visualize how improvements to a home can increase its sales price. The new feature is an enhancement of Revive's new Neighborhood Report, which is now part of Revive Vision AI. 

"This feature of Vision AI provides powerful insights without the need for photos of the property but rather focuses on using computer vision on the recent sales [comps] to bring condition insights to a specific neighborhood," Dalip Jaggi, co-founder of Revive.

The Neighborhood Report feature is now available to all Revive Vision AI users, accessible via both the desktop platform and mobile application. For a limited time, homeowners can test out the online version of Neighborhood Reports here.

REColorado adds CubiCasa to its offerings for agents

CubiCasa is extending the reach of its floor plan creation tool via a new partnership with REColorado, the largest broker-to-broker network in the state.

"In today's market, floor plans are no longer a luxury, they are an expectation for informed buyers," said Gene Milman, president and CEO of REcolorado, which serves 26,000 agents. "That's why we're thrilled to partner with CubiCasa to bring cutting-edge technology to Colorado real estate professionals."

Since its launch last year, CubiCasa has added more than 50 participants to its MLS partnership program. The company also recently added robust property data and imagery to its scanning process.

SkySlope Offers added to realMLS

Northeast Florida-based realMLS is offering its 12,000 members access to SkySlope Offers, an offer management solution. 

"With all components surrounding an offer consolidated in one place, Offers makes compliance simple and expedites the process," said Tyler Smith, SkySlope's CEO. "When agents aren't utilizing multiple platforms to perform tasks related to offers, they're freed up to be more efficient."

Nicole Jensen, CEO of realMLS, called SkySlope Offers a "pivotal addition" to its member benefits, "providing listing agents and sellers a modern and unbiased way to manage offers, while increasing accountability to prospective buyers."

Ashton Real Estate Group rolls out natural language search

Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage has launched AI-powered natural language search functionality at in partnership with ListAssist.

The new tool allows a home shopper to describe what they're looking for in conversational terms, and see what properties best match what they're looking for. ListAssist says its platform interprets customer needs in a more intuitive and personal way than the traditional search experience.

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